‘The Art of Crying’ Is Our May SELF Well-Read Book Club Pick

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Each month, the SELF Well-Read Book Club highlights a timely, delightful, and crucial book on a subject that helps readers live better lives. So far, we’ve covered everything from the politics of running to the state of modern motherhood.

When was the last time you had a good cry? Even if you aren’t a huge fan of shedding tears, you probably needed it—and felt a whole lot better afterward. Crying is a natural, universal response to any overwhelming emotion. So why do we often feel the need to hide it?

This is what illustrator and comic artist Pepita Sandwich explores in The Art of Crying, our May SELF Well-Read Book Club pick. Sandwich has spent a lot of time crying (at Halloween parties, on planes, in therapy, and beyond) and says she doesn’t regret a single tear. Her hilarious and touching comics blend empirical evidence, personal accounts, nostalgic art, and even poetry to convince every kind of crier to be a little kinder to themselves.

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Unlike those who mistake crying for a sign of weakness or a childish overreaction, Sandwich says it’s a “one of the most beautiful forms of bodily expression.” (She has good reason—the book explains that no other animals can produce emotional tears…so, crying literally makes us human!) The Art of Crying covers everything from the science and social history behind this complex biological reaction to the way tears show up in movies, music, and memes today. Our favorite part just might be the snippets Sandwich shares from her own Crying Diary—an extremely relatable log of all her weepy moments. The book’s playful format makes for a fun read without minimizing the empathy behind its main message: Crying isn’t just one of the most normal things we do—it’s one of the best.

We’re especially excited to cozy up with The Art of Crying during Mental Health Awareness Month: May is a good time to remind ourselves and the people we love that we shouldn’t be ashamed of our emotions. We hope that you can share The Art of Crying—and maybe a few tears, if it feels right—with someone you care about. Grab your copy below, go here for an excerpt from the book, and keep an eye out for more Mental Health Awareness Month content on SELF throughout May.

‘The Art of Crying’ by Pepita Sandwich

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